Configuring the NFS automounter

When to use automount

The most common and most advantageous use of automount is for mounting filesystems infrequently used on an NFS client, such as online reference manual pages. Avoid using automount to mount frequently used filesystems, such as those containing user commands; conventional NFS mounting is more efficient in this situation. It is quite practical and typical, therefore, to combine the use of automount with conventional NFS mounting on the same NFS client.

Another use of automount is when a read-only filesystem exists on more than one server. Using automount instead of conventional NFS mounting, you can configure the NFS client to query all of the servers on which the filesystem exists and mount from the server that responds first. Configuring automount for this operation is described in ``Specifying redundant servers''.

It is common to use automount in conjunction with NIS on a network where users want their directories distributed across the network. NIS is used to centrally manage all mounts from one of the servers. Each user's home directory physically resides on only one server, but the server is configured to export the home directory to all hosts on the network. Every host on the network runs automount as an NFS client and, therefore, can mount a user's home directory. A user can log in to any host and have access to his home directory. In this installation, file access is enhanced transparently while the use of automount (instead of conventional mounting) avoids the performance burden represented by dozens of active but unused NFS mounts.

NOTE: If any preexisiting script contains references to remote filesystems, adding automount management of those filesystems may cause performance problems due to unnecessary mounts whenever those scripts are invoked.

See also:

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© 2003 Caldera International, Inc. All rights reserved.
SCO OpenServer Release 5.0.7 -- 11 February 2003